Company leaders tend to be very busy people. A comprehensive study published in Harvard Business Review revealed the average CEO worked 9.7 hours per weekday, 3.9 hours on each weekend day and — get this — 2.4 hours per vacation day.
Clearly, trying to get leaders to add one more thing to an already full plate of responsibilities can be a challenge. However, the benefits of having top management engage in effective communication through Yammer far outweigh the costs. One recent report found effective communication from leadership resulted in a 47 percent higher return to shareholders over a five-year span.
Therefore, it behooves internal communications teams to get their company leaders on board with the Microsoft communication tool.
Identify Value for Leadership
The easiest way to get someone to add something to the routine is to show them the value that addition can bring. Getting your executive team to engage in Yammer should start by identifying the ways in which it can bring value and create desirable outcomes.
While this can mean different things for different people, company leaders generally want tools that help them communicate effectively and boost employees’ engagement in their work. Yammer is well-positioned to deliver in these key areas. Not only can it send messages. But Yammer also has the unique ability to reach people that generally don’t have much contact with upper management. Connecting with hard-to-reach employees can translate into several benefits for leadership, including the ability to clarify strategy, gain on-the-ground insights and find out about recurring customer issues.
Once you have been able to identify the value and ROI for your top management team, you can start easing them into the idea of using Yammer. When meeting with top company leaders, internal communications professionals should keep in mind that some of these people aren’t great communicators. These folks may be particularly resistant to the idea of embracing a tool for social interaction, and they will likely require some extra education and coaching.
Highlight Ease of Use and Mobility
The mobile app for Yammer can be a major selling point when trying to convert company leaders.
Most executives have very busy schedules. The only free time many of them have is in-between meetings or during traveling. The Yammer app allows executives to be productive during these in-between times.
Through the mobile app, an executive can quickly interact with their employees while waiting for a flight or their lunch order to arrive. The mobile app can easily make social interactions a part of their day, just as Facebook and Instagram apps have become a natural part of our personal lives. The app allows company leaders to quickly scroll through posts, like comments, and add feedback. They can do this anywhere there is an internet connection.
Another benefit of Yammer is that it tends to be pretty informal. Unlike with emails, where the writing has to be thoughtful and efficient, Yammer posts from a company leader can be casual and off-the-cuff. Even if a company leader doesn’t feel like saying anything, the Yammer app allows them to spend just a few minutes liking posts, which shows employees that they are engaged and dedicated to making people in the organization feel seen.
Show the Benefit to Employee Engagement
Research study after research study has shown all kinds of business benefits associated with employee engagement. One of the easiest ways to engage employees is for them to have good interactions with upper management.
One powerful way to get your leadership on board with using Yammer is to show them that just a few interactions on the platform can lead to a more engaged workforce. This is because when employees feel seen and heard by upper management, they tend to feel more engaged in their work. A study from Gallup found engaged business units have 41 percent lower absenteeism and 17 percent greater productivity.
Also, it’s natural for a lower-level employee to feel intimidated by someone in upper management. Yammer can help to break down these social walls, leading to higher engagement among frontline employees.
Show The Benefits of Increased Transparency
Modern technology has made society more transparent than ever, and younger generations in particular have grown up with this expectation of transparency.
In some organizations, company leaders may strive for a high level of transparency but struggle to achieve it due to the volume of information they handle and the speed at which decisions must be made. The result of these realities can be a leadership team that grows increasingly isolated from lower-level managers and employees. One survey of CEOs from Harvard Business Review found half of respondents saying they felt isolated, and 61 percent of those respondents saying they felt it had affected their performance.
When company leaders make Yammer a part of their daily routine, it helps them be more transparent and visible, all the way down to the bottom of the organizational pyramid. This ability to be transparent can be particularly powerful for international companies with employees all around the world.
By regularly sharing just a few messages a week on Yammer, company leaders can build trust through the organization and even make connections within a large company. This doesn’t require agonizing over every word and sentence. Simple but regular communication from the top can have a profound effect all throughout a company.
Unlock Friendly C-level Competition
By nature, company leaders tend to be competitive individuals. Yammer can indirectly tap into this competitiveness in a productive way.
When one member of the leadership team generates a high level of engagement with people in the organization, it will naturally inspire other members of the team to do the same. In a sense, Yammer can be turned into a virtual playground when leaders compete for engagement with employees. For example, a CIO could use Yammer to offer one-on-one paid lunches for top performances, while the CFO could announce group rewards for the best performing teams.
This type of one-upmanship can benefit everybody, from leaders to employees to the organization as a whole.
Get the Most Out of Yammer with a Tryane Analytics Solution
Internal communications teams looking to extract even more value from Yammer can do so with a Yammer analytics solution from Tryane. With our analytics platform, company leaders and communicators won’t just have to guess which of their posts are getting engagement — they’ll know. They’ll also be able to identify influencers within their ranks that can help with communications efforts.
Contact us today to learn more about our cutting-edge technology and how we can measure the impact of engaging top management in tools like Yammer.